welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo with the latest at this hour. an unmanned spacecraft has made history. it has become the first commercial vessel to dock with the international space station. dragon was developed by the california-based company space x. astronauts on the space station used the robot arm to grab the capsule. they spent two hours moving it into position and linking it with the station. >> the dragon spacecraft is now part of the international station complex, the first-ever commercial spacecraft to visit the international space station and the first u.s. spacecraft. >> dragon's systems functioned normally. the vessel docked two hours
behind schedule but met all nasa's requirements for a safe flight. the ceo of space x, elon musk, said the mission was successful thanks to a great partnership between his company and nasa. >> it's just a fantastic day and i think a great day for the country and for the world. this really is, i think, going to be recognized as a significantly historical step forward in space travel. so, you know, i'd like to thank the whole space x team. you guys are awesome. [ cheers and applause ] >> u.s. space officials hope dragon's success will encourage more private firms to develop space technology. managers at japanese automaker toyota say they're boosting more toward nations where they expect growth.
so they can build as many cars there as they do in japan. toyota workers will start building cars this year at new plants in brazil and thailand. managers plan to build 3.1 million cars in japan next year and the same number in emerging countries. they also plan to launch six models designed for emerging markets over the coming three years. general motors will start production in indonesia next year. volkswagon plans to build a plant in china. analysts say toyota's new strategy will make competition for sales in emerging countries ever fiercer. a japanese bank has resumed its transactions with iran. managers say a u.s. court nullified an order by another u.s. court to freeze the iranian government's accounts. the bank of tokyo mitsubishi ufj holds accounts the iranian government uses to receive japanese payments for oil. a new york state court ordered the bank to freeze up to $2.6
billion in the accounts. the judge said iranian officials should use the money to compensate people who lost relatives in a bombing in lebanon in 1983. managers at the bank filed an objection because of the impact on their business. japanese leaders are angry about a new construction project on a japanese island held by russia. the construction company is south korean. leaders in japan say they won't stand for any economic activity on the island by a third country. people on the island say a seafood company asked a south korean construction firm to improve the harbor. they say south korean engineers and divers have begun preliminary work. it is one of four japanese islands occupied by soviet troops after japan's surrender in 1945. russian president vladimir putin says he's ready to talk with japanese leaders about their claim to the islands, but
russian officials in charge of boosting the island's economy are given projects mainly to companies from china and south korea. one sign of china's economic growth is the high number of chinese now traveling outside their country. according to china's government, that number increased last year by a staggering 22% from the previous year. chinese airlines are moving to take advantage of this growing opportunity. in this report, we follow a low-cost airline that has been flying chinese tourists to japan. now, it's gearing up to expand business. nhk world reports. >> reporter: planes from spring airlines land at three provincial airports in japan. the airline is flying these passengers to japan for a group
tour. >> hi. >> hi. >> reporter: they have paid about $680 each for a 6-day trip to tokyo and the kansai region. >> translator: the tour makes it easier to visit japan. all my families have come. >> reporter: spring airlines is based in shanghai. a chinese travel agency started it to make its tours cheaper. the number of chinese traveling overseas is surging. many like vacationing in japan. it has lots of sites and hot springs and it's not far from china. spring airlines made its first overseas flight in 2010, linking shanghai and ibaraki in japan. later the airline added routes
from saga. the cheapest one-way ticket to japan is $37. the plane has only economy class seats so it can hold more passengers. there are no free meals or drinks. spring airlines' president sees a good future for his company in low-cost tours to japan. >> translator: lower costs will lure more people to travel by air. >> to boost its business, the airline is planning to set up a local company in japan. it will not team up with japanese airlines. the first time a falling low-cost carrier has decided to do this. at the moment customers from all over china have to get to shanghai before they can fly to japan. but spring airlines hopes to fly
passengers from locations around china directly to major japanese airports. then it will fly them to provincial cities. to do this, the company must establish a japanese subsidiary, also only japanese firms are allowed to fly domestic routes. in april, he visited japan to get the plan moving. in japan, airlines must be at least two-thirds funded by japanese capital. in search of japanese partners, one meets with his tokyo staff. >> translator: we'll be able to contribute to japan's efforts to bolster its tourism industry. our impact on the economies of both japan and china will be extremely positive.